Armenian language

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Modern Armenian has six monophthong vowel sounds.

Consonants

The following table lists the Eastern Armenian consonantal system. The occlusives and affricates have a special aspirated series (transcribed with a Greek spiritus asper after the letter): p῾, t῾, c῾, č῾, k῾. Each phoneme in the table is represented by three symbols. The topmost indicates the phoneme's pronunciation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA); below that appears the corresponding letter of the Armenian alphabet; and the bottom symbol is its Latin-alphabet transliteration (according to ISO 9985).

Morphology

Armenian corresponds with other Indo-European languages in its structure, but it shares distinctive sounds and features of its grammar with neighboring languages of the Caucasus region. Armenian is rich in combinations of consonants. Both classical Armenian and the modern spoken and literary dialects have a complicated system of declining nouns, with six or seven noun cases but no gender. In modern Armenian the use of auxiliary verbs to show tense (comparable to will in "he will go") has generally supplemented the inflected verbs of Classical Armenian. Negative verbs are conjugated differently from positive ones (as in English "he goes" and "he does not go"). Grammatically, early forms of Armenian had much in common with classical Greek and Latin, but the modern language, like modern Greek, has undergone many transformations. With time the Armenian language made a transition from a synthetic language (Old Armenian or Grabar) to a typical analytic language (Modern Armenian) with Middle Armenian as a midpoint in this transition.

Noun

Classical Armenian has no grammatical gender, not even in the pronoun. The nominal inflection, however, preserves several types of inherited stem classes. The noun may take seven cases, nominative, accusative, locative, genitive, dative, ablative, instrumental.

Verb

Verbs in Armenian have an expansive system of conjugation with two main verb types (three in Western Armenian) changing form based on tense, mood and aspect.

Dialects

The major division is between the Eastern and Western dialects. The most distinctive feature of Western Armenian is that it has undergone several phonetic mergers; these may be due to proximity to Arabic and Turkish-speaking communities.

For example, Eastern Armenian speakers pronounce (թ) as an aspirated "t" as in "tiger", (դ) like the "d" in "develop", and (տ) as an unaspirated voiceless stop, sounding somewhere between the two as in "stop." Western Armenian has simplified the stop system into a simple division between voiced stops and voiceless aspirate ones; the first series corresponds to the unaspirated voiceless series of Eastern Armenian, and the second corresponds to the Eastern voiced and aspirated voiceless series. Thus, the Western dialect pronounces both (թ) and (դ) as an aspirated "t" as in "tiger," and the (տ) letter is pronounced like the letter "d" as in "develop."

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